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Graham Condon Leisure Centre

19 September 2007

City Council unveils plans for the Graham Condon Leisure Centre

Christchurch City Council today (Wednesday, 19 September) unveiled plans for the Graham Condon Leisure Centre at Papanui.

Councillor Condon, who was tragically killed in a cycling accident earlier this month, served on the Shirley-Papanui Community Board for three years before being elected as a Christchurch City Councillor for the ward in 1998 where the first of three new aquatic facilities for Christchurch will be built next year.

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore says it is a fitting tribute to Councillor Condon that the new facility will be named the Graham Condon Leisure Centre.

"Graham was crippled by Polio as a child but had a determination to succeed. From a young age he turned his energies to sport and was a natural athlete, making his mark in the discus and pentathlon and representing New Zealand internationally for more than two decades.

"He set seven world, Olympic and Commonwealth records and seven national records, winning 36 international medals in total."

<> Mr Moore says after retirement from competitive sport, Graham shifted his drive to being an advocate for other sportspeople and one of his greatest legacies was the rebuilding of QEII.

"I am proud that we are naming this new aquatic and recreation facility at Papanui after a councillor who gave so much to his community and in recognition of his work in encouraging and helping other sportspeople to achieve their full potential."

The new Graham Condon Leisure Centre is the first partnership aquatic facility to be built by Council. Construction of the new pool and recreation complex will be on land owned by Papanui High School, with financial support from the school and adjacent Northlands Shopping Centre. Council will contribute $8.5 million to the facility.

"This is an important partnership which will greatly benefit the local community. It will provide Papanui with a leisure/entertainment hub at the heart of the community and a world-class aquatic facility for school and community use. This is a tremendous win-win situation for the whole community.

"Partnerships have been identified as a key to the success of implementing the Council's Aquatic Facilities Plan - the first city-wide plan to strategically develop new aquatic facilities during the next 30 years."

Construction of the new aquatic facility will begin mid next year and take 10 months to complete. The facility is expected to open mid to late 2009. It will boast a six-lane, 25-metre indoor pool, spa pool, learners' pool, separate toddlers' pool with wet deck, 300sqm sports hall and a gymnasium.

Papanui High School principal Denis Pyatt says the Graham Condon Leisure Centre is another great example of collaboration by business, the school and Council in creating a wonderful new facility for the local community.

"The school, Northlands and Council have always worked together to develop this area. It has been a win-win situation for everyone involved; each development building on creating Northlands as a lively centre and hub for the North Christchurch community."

Mr Pyatt says the new aquatic and recreation facility cements Northlands position as the heart of the community. "It opens up the school to the community and provides a significant development available for use by Papanui High School, primary and intermediate schools in the area and the community.

"It is great to be able to work in co-operation to get for our community this great new facility."

Kiwi Income Property Trust, the owner of the Northlands Shopping Centre, is pleased to support the construction and development of the Graham Condon Leisure Centre, says Chief Executive of the Manager of the Trust Angus McNaughton.

"Northlands has served the people of Papanui and the wider region for many years and this project will provide the local community with a much needed sports facility.

"It is also fitting that the aquatic and recreation centre has been named after Councillor Condon who was an outstanding community leader and a strong advocate for this project," Mr McNaughton says.

ENDS

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